Pandas enjoying some good bamboo at the Beijing Zoo

We are in Hong Kong ending the 2009 year, in the same hotel where we started the 5 week China journey.  We knew then that the next 5 weeks would be the toughest part of our trip because it was going to be the coldest.  It was cold.  We were lucky we did not have to buy snow boots only cold weather clothing.  At the Great Wall the wind was 20 mph and the temperature in the high 30’s.  Strangely on the wall for 3 hours we did not notice it because it was one of those moments where we said “Can you believe we are in China”.  Beijing left the impression of a really huge, wide city and it was our first encounter with the preservation of ancient thousand year old buildings along side the newer construction.  The city we were told is getting wider with the newer (more…)

Down by the Bund

Shanghai is a new city compared to other Chinese cities.  It is only 200 plus years old.  So there is not much of Chinese history here but it can be thought as a barometer of how far China has come in the last decade.  I have been told that China has progressed in the last 6 years what it took the west 16 years.  I can not vouch for that but I can say Shanghai is moving fast getting ready for its really big show in 2010, the World Expo.  Shanghai thinks of itself as China’s premier city, not Beijing.  So expect the World Expo to be somewhat more spectator than the 2008 Beijing  Olympics.

We comfortably settled into Shanghai ready to experience some modern Chinese urban living in our (more…)

Side street entrance off of city center Xian China

From Nanjing we flew to Xian, pulled our luggage through the airport, stopped at a information booth, they made a call, someone came, pulled our bags to a taxi, in 45 minutes we were in front of our apartment 1 block from what is called the city center.  We thought, this is too easy, this must be an extraordinary place.  The next morning we found out what city center meant. There was a large, ancient, worshiping bell tower surrounded by a 4 lane rotary with 3 car lanes and one bike lane coming in and 3 car lanes and bike lanes going out in the north,  south, east  and west directions.  There was a mixture of old ancient buildings mixed with newer buildings of traditional Chinese architecture. You can’t imagine this mixture because the city has (more…)

Doudou,Hongxuan and Yufeng around the breakfast table

When we were small kids we use to think we could dig a hole to China.  I don’t know how at that young age we would know about a country named China except through a plea from our parents to get children to eat all their dinner “Eat all your dinner because there are people starving in China”.  I hope we were trying to bring food in those days  because today they do not need any.

I find myself today in a living room apartment on the campus of the University of Science and Technology in Nanjing, China.  It belongs to a retired professor of mechanics at the university who is the father of Li Hongxuan’s husband, Tang Yufeng.  We have  finished a breakfast of egg and rice dumplings and some different (more…)

We have been able to escape no more snow, but not no more cold. The weather in Beijing has turned to the colder, with the temperature around 38 degrees on our departure day.

When we got off the Hong Kong to Beijing train we decided to buy our train tickets for our Beijing to Nanjing trip that was 8 days away. We knew the route did not provide 2 berth sleepers as we had on our present trip but 4 berth sleepers were available and rumor was sometimes you could get a 4 berth for a married couple. We went up to the English speaking ticket window to attempt our first purchase in Mainland China for the 4 berth for a married couple. Speaking through a glass window in a hectic surroundings the conversation can only be explained and as English with Chinese. Going nowhere with that purchase we decided before the purchase got more confusing it was best to settle for a couple of reserved soft seat tickets before we got stuck with first come first served hard seat tickets. During the walk around looking for a taxi we jokingly talked about what was that all about, when we realized that we only paid 70 US$ for 2 reserved tickets for 8 hours on a fast new train. We looked at the tickets and (more…)

After the 8 hour plane flight from Tokyo, we found ourselves waking in Hong Kong. From our bed out the morning window was a huge and modern apartment complex with windows starting to light up for the day ahead, Lower in the window the Red Chinese flag was waving with the backdrop of the Hong Kong harbor with lit up passenger ferries crisscrossing the harbor. We made it to China, but the best was ahead….the mainland.
With only 2 days in Hong Kong we did the harbor ferry tour, stopping here and there for exploration and on the Island side did a city open air bus tour. What a beautiful city(see been there done that). Imagine (more…)

A friend that we are going to visit in China emailed me that my nomoresnow blog is blocked in China.
Upon further investigation I found this to be true, China is blocking the word WordPress, which is my blogging application software.
Wordpress has come up with a workaround for bloggers to post to their blog by email. This is a test of that. I am still working on a way to access the blog in China.